Our team at Educate.Radiate.Elevate. is celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day this week on February 17th. Random Acts of Kindness Day was first established in New Zealand in 2004, but it was soon adopted in the United States by Will Glennon, our nation’s Chairman of World Kindness. We are so excited to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day with our students and readers because E.R.E. supports working to uplift our communities through giving and kindness!
What are Random Acts of Kindness?
Random acts of kindness are simple gestures that are meant to brighten a person’s day or assist them when they are in need of help. They can be quick and easy, and they make a big impact! In our busy society, we don’t often notice the humanity of people around us. While working, running errands, scrolling through social media, etc. we tend to focus on ourselves, our tasks, and our issues. This results in a very self-absorbed and surface-level existence. However, when we choose to be in the “random acts of kindness” mindset, we are reminded to make an effort to help others. As Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “For it is in giving that we receive.” By supporting and giving to our friends, family, and community through random acts of kindness, we can improve our relationships and we will receive long-lasting happiness! While there are infinite ways to give to others, you can get started with these 5 random acts of kindness ideas.
1 – Call a loved one
We often forget to take the time and reach out to our loved ones. A simple call is an easy act of kindness! The conversation does not need to be long or drawn out. You can simply say, “I just wanted to call and say I love you!” or “I wanted to hear a little bit about your day before my appointment in 20 minutes!” It is especially important to call our family members that are in their later stages in life because they do not have many opportunities to socially interact with others, and even a quick conversation on the phone can improve their mood and mental health. According to the MDPI article Promoting Older Residents’ Social Interaction and Wellbeing: A Design Perspective, “Studies have shown that steady social connection could promote older adults’ life qualities, improve mental health, and reduce their chances of developing cognitive decline.” Allocating a few minutes out of the day to catch up with a loved one may seem like a small act, but it can make a huge impact in his/her life – especially if you make it a habit. So, call every few days or every week to make a real difference in the lives of those you love!
2 – Pay it Forward
The term “pay it forward” can be used to describe paying for another person’s food, supplies, etc. For example, someone at a coffee shop could choose to pay it forward and purchase a coffee for the person in line behind them. An easy act of kindness like paying it forward often has a big effect! At the very least, this random act of kindness could brighten the person’s day. At the most, it could help someone that is struggling financially. While a typical paying it forward scenario involves purchases, there are also ways to creatively pay it forward with our actions. You can give up your seat on a bus, leave an uplifting note for someone to find, or allow the person in line behind you at the grocery store to check out before you. The point of paying it forward is to take time out of your day to perform a simple action that will benefit another person. The possibilities are endless!
3 – Give a Compliment
While a simple compliment can seem small and insignificant, it has so much meaning! Simple compliments like “I love your outfit!” or “Your presentation at the meeting today was great!” do not take much effort, but they could be exactly what that person needed to hear. Not only can giving a compliment boost someone’s mood and confidence, and it’s also a way of saying to that person, “I see you.” A statistic included in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Loneliness in America article reports that “36% of all Americans—including 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children—feel ‘serious loneliness.’” It is important to recognize others through compliments and kind words because it will make them feel accepted and included. Furthermore, when our lives become busy and hectic, it is easy to choose to focus only on ourselves – which can make us feel lonely. By paying a stranger, friend, coworker, or loved one a compliment, we are simultaneously taking care of others while giving ourselves a break from our own lives.
4 – Volunteer
One random act of kindness we highly recommend is to volunteer! Choosing to volunteer is such a selfless act, and you can easily make it personal. If you are passionate about the environment, you can get in contact with an organization that plants trees or removes trash from the side of the road. If you care about helping underserved youth in your community, you can call a local nonprofit that provides care or resources for children. Volunteering will allow you to improve your community while doing something you feel good about! Many nonprofit organizations will accept volunteers a week in advance, a few days in advance, or even the day of. We recommend emailing or calling an organization with a mission you believe in and asking if it needs help. Pro tip: Mention your relevant skills and training, as they may be useful for a specialized project for the nonprofit! Educate. Radiate. Elevate. is so grateful for its volunteers. They uniquely use their gifts in tutoring, lesson planning, research, marketing, management, and more! If you’re interested in volunteering for E.R.E., click here. We want you to join our growing team!
5 – Donate
One quick and easy act of kindness is to donate. Choose a nonprofit that is doing work you are passionate about and help provide the financial support it needs to continue doing its work! Nonprofits are fully funded by grants and donors, so your donation will be extremely appreciated. When you donate, you get to help a charitable organization improve your community, which will in turn improve your life. It’s a win-win! This random act of kindness is arguably the easiest of the 5, and it can make the biggest impact. If you are passionate about education, the achievement gap, equity in education and your community, and underserved children Educate. Radiate. Elevate. is the perfect nonprofit to donate to! We tutor low-income BIPOC children in grades K – 12. Our tutors utilize alternative techniques and approaches that are scientifically proven to raise scores in Math, English Language Arts, and Reading. E.R.E. is more than just a tutoring organization, we want our students to complete their schooling as competent and conscious leaders who are active agents of change in their own lives and the lives of others. E.R.E. teaches students to be kind, to give to others, and to perform random acts of kindness in their day-to-day lives!